I have a Beagle that I adore, but I live alone, and there are times when I don’t feel as safe as I should and wonder if he would make a good guard dog for me with training.
Interested to know the facts about my Beagle and his ability to be a guard dog to me, I did a little research on the internet, and here is what I found.
Are Beagles good guard dogs?
Beagles are not usually good guard dogs as they are too friendly and affectionate and have an independent nature. This innate nature might make them look like excellent guard dogs because they think for themselves, but this is sadly not the case. They also are quite small and unintimidating.
Beagles are not good guard dogs because they are small, but they can make a good watchdog with training.
Beagles are protective, especially those they love and care about, but this doesn’t make them good guard dogs.
Good guard dogs require certain traits that are both physical and emotional.
For a Beagle to be a good guard dog, they would need not only to be loving and protective of their loved ones, but they would need to have the physical traits to be so as well.
Good guard dogs need to be physically strong and capable of protecting their loved ones from an intruder or attackers.
Good guard dogs also need to have the physical drive to protect their loved ones at all costs.
This drive must come from within themselves and be a part of their temperament and nature.
If for a moment, we were to leave out the fact that a Beagle might not physically have the traits required to make a good guard dog, we can look at their personality and nature and see how it relates to guarding and protecting.
Guard dogs are good at being protective because their innate character and temperament are one of a protector.
They guard and are often more reserved in nature when it comes to those around them.
These dogs don’t usually make as many human friends and aren’t rolling out the carpet to visitors or anyone around them, or those they care about.
Most often, for a dog of any breed to be a good guard dog, they need to be somewhat reserved and less friendly and social.
Beagles are, by nature, affectionate, friendly, and sociable, which is the opposite of reserved and cautious.
While Beagles do not make good guard dogs, they can make good watchdogs, as they have a surprising bark that would be useful to alert their loved ones and those around them that there is a problem.
If one is looking for a good guard dog, a Beagle is usually not their first choice.
Not because the Beagle breed lacks qualities that make them a good dog, but because they lack what is needed to be an effective guard dog.
Beagles may not make good guard dogs, but they have many redeeming qualities that make them great at being a watchdog and, of course, their historical occupation as a hunting dog.
Part of this is due to their emotional traits, which have them being very sociable, friendly, and affectionate with a need to be close to those they love and having a good time with others.
This comes from their breed background where they lived in packs of ten to twenty or more Beagles at a time, where they slept and lived together.
This quality is not something that goes hand and hand with being a guard dog.
However, this doesn’t mean that a Beagle is not capable of guarding its family or being an effective guard dog. It simply means that in most cases, they do not make effective guard dogs.
Aside from that, physically, they lack other traits that would make their occupation as a guard dog in a family easier.
Beagles are not large dogs, which means that they probably will not scare anyone off from attacking them, their home, or their loved ones.
If we think for a moment of a time, we encountered a dog that was a good guard dog and protector, we will often notice that the dog is more reserved, under control, and watchful than friendly and sociable.
These traits come naturally to some dog breeds as they were bred to do just this, guard and protect. Beagles were bred to hunt, and they are highly successful at this skill.
When these two traits are combined, they make the likelihood of success a whole lot less.
Beagles, however, can make excellent watchdogs for their family if they are trained as so, as they have a naturally loud and surprising bark that will warn those around them of trouble.
If my Beagle doesn’t make a good guard dog, how can I train them to be a good watchdog?
If your Beagle doesn’t make a good guard dog, you can train them to be a good and effective watchdog by either taking them to a professional trainer to complete this task or undertaking this task yourself.
Pet parents who are not familiar with training a Beagle should be warned that Beagles have strong independent minds, which can make them a bit harder to train than other dogs.
Note, I didn’t say impossible; I said harder.
Pet parents who are secure in their abilities as a trainer and confident in their knowledge and skill will have less of a problem than others.
Pet parents training their Beagle for any purpose, to be a good watchdog or otherwise, should have a large bag of tricks, be prepared for setbacks, and change things up often to minimize boredom and keep the Beagle interested.
Once the pet parent is secure in their role, they can proceed with training their Beagle to be a watchdog. This is accomplished by first ensuring that the Beagle is solid with their knowledge of Basic Obedience Training.
After this is mastered, they should learn the specific things that their pet parent or trainer wants them to watch for in their home or elsewhere.
Whether pet parent or professional, the trainer should have a list of things that they want their Beagle watchdog to look out for.
The list can include such things as someone coming into the front door that is not the family or someone that is typically welcomed.
Once this list is complete to the pet parents’ liking, they can proceed with the training to teach the Beagle when NOT to bark. Most dogs don’t usually have a problem with barking.
It is more the problem with learning when NOT to bark.
The best way for a pet parent to do this is to respond to your dog’s EVERY bark during training time; what is different when your Beagle barks is your response.
If they are barking at something on the list, they should be rewarded and praised when the pet parent responds.
This praise can be affection, a treat, or a combination of both, and something else entirely that the dogs consider a reward.
However, if the Beagle barks and the pet parents respond to it, and it is discovered that they are barking at something NOT on the list, they should be told a firm but straightforward NO and, of course, not receive the reward.
This training will repeatedly happen until the Beagle gets the idea of who and what is something they should be watchful of and what or who is something they should not be barking at.
Beagles are brilliant dogs that can make this process easy, but the pet parents need to have their bag of tricks handy to keep the Beagle entertained and interested during this process.
If the Beagle gets bored at any time, they might wander off to find something else to do that is more interesting. Persistence can win the day if the pet parents keep their training short and to the point.
In fact, training them two or more times per day may be better with sessions being shorter instead of one long training session.
The training process does take time, so the pet parents should be prepared for this time and not get discouraged as their Beagle can be an effective watchdog and rather good at it!
If the pet parents have trouble training their dog, professional training is always a great option and doesn’t always need to be expensive or lengthy.
While Beagles don’t usually make good guard dogs, they can be very good at the task of being a watchdog, which plays into their natural abilities as hunting dogs.
A guard dog is not born, they are made, and while the Beagle is not usually the first choice for this position in a family because of their temperament and nature, they can make great watchdogs.
For pet parents that own a Beagle but are looking for a guard dog, their beloved pooch may not fill that bill quickly, but they have so many more redeeming traits that should not be overlooked!